Four members of the Brown University faculty and one graduate student have been awarded fellowships by the American Council of Learned Societies, a nonprofit organization advancing studies in the humanities and social sciences. Their projects range from an analysis of the cinematic close-up to an examination of the spatial transformation of post-apartheid South Africa.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Four Brown University faculty members and one sociology graduate student have been honored with fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), a private nonprofit federation of 69 national scholarly organizations. The mission of the ACLS is to advance humanistic studies in all fields of learning in the humanities and the social sciences and to maintain and strengthen relations among the national societies devoted to such studies.

This year, the ACLS awarded fellowships totaling $8,382,491 to 232 U.S.-based scholars. Among them are Mary Ann Doane, professor of modern culture and media; Matthew C. Gutmann, associate professor of anthropology; Susan Ashbrook Harvey, professor of religious studies; Robert O. Self, associate professor of history; and Daniel Schensul, a doctoral candidate in sociology.

Doane, Gutmann, and Ashbrook Harvey were selected from 1,016 applicants for the ACLS Fellowship Program. The program awarded just under $2.8 million to 65 scholars for postdoctoral research in the humanities and humanities-related social sciences. Their projects are as follows:

  • In a project titled “Bigger Than Life:” The Close-up and Scale in the Cinema, Doane will investigate the way in which cinematic screen size and its corresponding scale have figured in the negotiation of the human body’s relation to space in modernity.
  • Using oral histories of Iraq war veterans, Gutmann will explore the “epiphanies of war” to explain social processes leading men to oppose the war. His project is titled Iraq Veterans in Dissent, Masculine Loyalties in Contention: Epiphanies among the Troops.
  • Ashbrook Harvey will study the role and function of women’s voices in late antique Syriac Christianity in her project titled Teaching Women: Biblical Women and Women's Choirs in Syriac Tradition.

Robert O. Self is one of 11 recipients of Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowships for Recently Tenured Scholars, which support scholars in the humanities and social sciences in the crucial years immediately following the granting of tenure, and provide potential leaders in their fields with the resources to pursue long-term, unusually ambitious projects. Fellows will spend one of the next three academic years in residence at a participating national research center and will be granted additional research time by their home institutions.

Self’s project, titled The Politics of Gender and Sexuality in the United States from Watts to Reagan, follows the politics of gender and sexuality in the United States from the Moynihan Report and Watts riot in 1965 to the emergence of the Moral Majority and the election of Ronald Reagan in the early 1980s. The project asks how struggles over gender equity, sexual liberation, the family, and the boundaries between public and private remade the nation’s political culture and redefined liberalism before the so-called culture wars of the 1990s.

Daniel Schensul, a doctoral candidate in sociology, is the recipient of an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation/ACLS Early Career Fellowship Program Dissertation Completion Fellowship. Selected from a total of 1,144 applications, he is among 65 young scholars awarded in the program’s inaugural year. The fellowships, supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, provide support to scholars to finish their dissertations. Schensul’s project, titled Remaking an Apartheid City: State-Led Spatial Transformation in Durban, South Africa, uses GIS, spatial analysis, and qualitative field work to examine post-apartheid South Africa’s state-led efforts to transform urban spatial structures of racial exclusion.

For a complete list of 2007 recipients, visit